Christmas Kettle program, a fundraiser for social services undertaken by the Salvation Army, has begun and will last until Christmas Eve.
The six-week fundraiser aims to raise $25,000, said Major Neil Wilkinson, Salvation Army corps officer.
This is the second year for the fundraiser and last year the community donated $20,000 towards the program.
“This is the largest fundraiser the Salvation Army undertakes in the calendar year to do fundraising to put clothes on people’s backs, and support people who require basic living needs,” Wilkinson said.
The Kettle program is to help the non-governmental organization provide assistance to people who may need emergency transportation, basic household items and more.
Kettles will be going out at 10 am for these six-weeks, everyday except Sunday and Monday. Locations of the Kettle are: Jim’s Independent (Saturdays only), Co-op mall, Home Hardware, Co-op Gas Bar.
The organization is still looking for volunteers to man the Kettles, and anyone interested in doing a shift for a couple of hours can go to the Salvation Army thrift store for more information.
Proceeds from the program will also be used for other social services. One leadership role the Salvation Army is undertaking in Vanderhoof, amongst many, is trying to get a research study done to understand the housing needs of the community.
The research will be undertaken by the University of British Columbia and costs $25,000. A housing study was done in 2015, but is going to be soon outdated, Wilkinson said, adding they want to do the second stage of the same research project to get an academic perspective of the kind of housing needed in the community.
“We are working on assembling a team of invested organizations and partners in the community to spearhead the campaign,” he said.
He emphasised that the Salvation Army isn’t in the community to take over social services that already exist, infact their role is to point clients towards the right direction.
For instance, if there is a woman moving away from an abusive situation, the Salvation Army refers them to the Omineca Safe House. And for food needs, clients are sent to NeigbourLink where the food bank is.
“We are trying to find the void in the community, and meet those needs,” Wilkinson added.